'Piggyback Bandit' visits Black Hawk


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Originally Posted Online: Jan. 30, 2013, 5:38 pm
Last Updated: Jan. 30, 2013, 11:22 pm
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By Tom Johnston, tjohnston@qconline.com

Black Hawk College men's basketball coach Darren Bizarri had a story to tell after Tuesday's Arrowhead Conference victory over Carl Sandburg that had nothing to do with a score of any kind. That was secondary in this phone call.

And it was a story that definitely falls in the "bizarre'' files.

It seems as if a subject of a Deadspin article from a few years ago showed up at BHC for Tuesday's game.

Deadspin, the same entity that broke wide open the Manti Te'o story this month, had two years ago written about a guy tabbed the "Piggyback Bandit.'' He was a 28-year-old male who, in Washington state, had been "lurking around libraries and gyms and stealing piggyback rides from unsuspecting athletes'' according to the Deadspin report.

Deadspin also reported that this guy has been banned from high-school games in North Dakota for the same antics.

On Tuesday, he hitched such a ride after the game from BHC's Cody Cooley, according to Bizarri.

"I just want to let you guys know, so we can get it out and let other coaches and administrators know this guy is in town,'' said Bizarri.

The story of Sherwin Shayegan, as he was identified by Deadspin, in the Quad-Cities began about two hours before his ride. Bizarri said that Shayegan spent the entire men's game on the Carl Sandburg bench filling water cups for the team.

After the game, the "Piggyback Bandit'' approached Cooley, who had a game-high 22 points. According to Bizarri, the uninvited guest asked Cooley to put his uniform on and give him a piggyback ride. Cooley accommodated the request, Bizarri said. That ride took Shayegan across the hall from the BHC locker room to where the officials were changing. Shayegan apparently knocked on the door and yelled something at the officials, according to Bizarri, and then jumped from Cooley's back and took off.

Bizarri also reported that the visitor went into athletic director Gary Huber's office at one point and told him "you put on a really great show here.''

Bizarri called Carl Sandburg coach Ryan Twaddle to see if the man was associated with the Chargers' program. Bizarri was informed that he was not.

"Ryan thought the guy was a fan of ours helping out and never questioned him being on the bench,'' said Bizarri, who noted Shayegan was wearing CSC colors and figured he was with the Chargers entourage.

Bizarri said that Shayegan "did not do anything sexual or perverse.''

He just asked for a piggyback ride.

"This is one of those things that you just can't make up,'' said Bizarri.




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